Diary of Juan Labrador, O.P.

August 1, 1942

While Manila and the surrounding towns enjoy peace—more neronic than octavian, though—in many provincial towns, anarchy and violence reign. In those towns where the Japanese have not established a garrison and there are plenty of lawless men, there is no security in the fields nor in the lives of the inhabitants, especially the rich ones. Town mayors who do not enjoy the support of the authorities or of the Constabulary cannot command obedience. Besides, the Constabulary is still unarmed, and any group of dissatisfied or hungry townsfolk could attack, rob or kill any undefended family. There are no fast vehicles or telephones or telegraphs through which assistance could be sought.

Considering such a situation, the provinces are by no means enviable. They are caught between Scylla & Charybdis. Many well-to-do families have fled to Manila where there is better protection. But in so doing, they had sacrificed their lands and businesses. Pampanga, Pangasinan and the Ilocos provinces in the north, and Bicolandia in the south, are under the constant threat of armed elements who call themselves remnants of the USAFFE, usurping the name of such a glorious organization. In many islands of the Visayas, there had been a patriarchal peace until the Japanese occupied them about two months ago. The Japanese withdrew to the capital, leaving the rest of the islands in a state of pandemonium, at the mercy of armed men who terrorize the defenseless inhabitants.